On August 19, 2036, Michael Adams, somewhat reluctantly, goes along with his family to visit an imprisoned perpetrator of a crime in which they are the victims. This visit has unexpected repercussions, and is the first of the days that change the course of the dystopian future of the novel.
Say goodbye to the Zombie Apocalypse and take a good look at a far more frightening alternative. Author Mark Tullius does a remarkable job of mix-and-match, taking various threads of contentious issues in contemporary US culture and turning them into a not-totally-implausible view of the future.
The book also incorporates some interesting ideas about future technology, some of which is part of the universally accepted phenomena of hard science fiction (cyborgs, for example) and some of which is original. Tullius utilizes past atrocities to inform his choices, enhancing the fear a reader may feel when contemplating the possible futures for America. He raises questions that may discomfort readers of all political stripes, but does so by telling a story.
Each chapter is meticulously crafted, at times obscure, and shares much in common with great flash fiction. The reader may miss something important in a blink. It shares a structure like much-lauded films such as Pulp Fiction, Magnolia, and Crash: At first, the relationship of the characters and the subjects addressed in each new chapter is not evident, but it all comes together in the end.
Because of the economy of words and the structure, the book is fast-paced and takes many unpredicted directions. This may frustrate some readers; those comfortable with the structure still may want to read it again.
Don’t let the title fool you: the 25 PERFECT DAYS of the title are perfectly disturbing, a walk through a possible future as bleak as George Orwell’s 1984. Scary, realistic, and satisfying.
Reviewed by Jodi McMaster for IndieReader